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Digital Fitness Startup TREAD Raises $1.1 Mn In Seed Round

The startup will use these funds for scaling its product development and community expansion

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Bengaluru-based digital fitness startup TREAD has raised its first round of funding of $1.1 million from a clutch of investors. The round saw participation from Better Capital, Unacademy founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh, Udaan founder Sujeet Kumar, CRED founder Kunal Shah, Citruspay founder Amrish Rau, MPL founders Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra, Jupiter founder Jitendra Gupta, RedBus founder Phanindra Sama, Whiteboard Capital, FirstCheque and Stanford Angels, among others.

“The company promises to deliver live streamed group workout sessions through its mobile app and website. Fitness experts across the country will use the platform to deliver a wide range of workouts, counts as yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and cardio with strength and conditioning workouts,” said a statement from the company.

“We are excited to announce our first ever fundraise for TREAD, a visionary homegrown online fitness startup that aims to advance the ‘Fit India’ initiative by offering holistic workouts which are accessible and affordable to everyone in India and in Bharat. This fundraise gives us the initial capital to rapidly build out our product, our content across social platforms and to onboard thousands of professional trainers from across the country,” said TREAD founder and chief executive officer Dinesh Godara. “Our immediate goal is to launch an immersive and gamified experience for users to choose their workouts and make consistent progress on their fitness goals.”

Data from MoEngage shows that between the first quarter and the second quarter of 2020, health and fitness app downloads grew by 46 per cent worldwide whereas India saw the highest increase in downloads, rising by 156 per cent that translates to 58 million new active users.

“In this post-COVID world, people are cautious about social distancing and are hesitant to head back to the gyms and fitness centers. Workout from home has become a new normal in fitness around the world. TREAD is squarely positioned around this need and is offering the full range of workouts via online sessions with best-of-breed trainers across all categories.”

“TREAD is building a rich experience for users to pick up workouts, find trainers of their choice and compete with their peers, and track progress via a gamified dashboard. TREAD is also creating rich tools for trainers to conduct highly engaging group workout sessions where users feel connected to their trainers similar to their offline experience” Godara added, while pointing to the current opportunities and way forward for the establishment.

“The startup is in talks with multiple venture capital firms for its Series A round of funding,” said the statement.

A report by Data Bridge Market Research on the fitness app market said the fitness app market is expected to witness market growth at a rate

Health Insurance Start-Up Addresses ‘Health Insurance Deserts’

New Partnership Allows Decent to Offer Health Plans to Small Businesses, Self-Employed in Texas’ Rural Communities

Decent's virtual health plans can make accessing a doctor easier, especially in areas facing a primary care shortage.
Decent’s virtual health plans can make accessing a doctor easier, especially in areas facing a primary care shortage.
Decent’s virtual health plans can make accessing a doctor easier, especially in areas facing a primary care shortage.

Austin, Texas, Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Decent, an Austin, Texas-based startup disrupting the health insurance industry through a partnership with the Texas Freelance Association, will soon offer health plans in small and rural towns throughout the state, expanding access to health insurance in regions where there has always been limited availability.

“Most rural Texans live in ‘health insurance deserts’ where there is just one expensive health plan option that costs more than their mortgage. It means many forego coverage altogether,” explained Nick Soman, CEO and co-founder of Decent.

Decent is able to extend its unique health plans to small businesses in rural Texas in addition to major cities such as Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, under a partnership with AXA, a global leader in insurance, which allows Decent to use its extensive medical network for wraparound coverage for its members and immediate families. In 2018, Decent, with the Texas Freelance Association, launched health plans for self-employed individuals in Austin, Texas and recently announced it would also offer health plans to small businesses.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs often are presented with two inadequate choices – health insurance that is expensive or health insurance that is skimpy,” explained Soman. “We started Decent to give groups left out of the current marketplace access to health insurance, which should be available no matter where you live.”

Rethinking Rural Health Insurance

Texas has one of the largest rural populations in the U.S., making up about 10 percent of the state’s total population of 29 million. Health insurance deserts refers to geographic areas where there is only one option for private insurance.

“Most rural Americans work for small businesses, yet many small businesses can’t afford to offer the available healthcare options to their employees. It’s a ‘lose-lose’ for everyone. We’re re-thinking how it can be done and done well,” said Soman.

Decent’s health plans are unique in two major ways, explains Soman. Decent helps small businesses and entrepreneurs band together to take advantage of a business practice called “self-insurance” to “level the playing field” with large employers who have been using self-insurance for years to control and reduce medical costs. Decent can do this by pooling categories of small businesses, such as technology firms and oil and gas companies.

The health insurance startup also prioritizes free primary care to help members access it when they need helpful guidance to avoid unnecessary trips to expensive points of care, such as freestanding emergency rooms (ERs) and hospital ERs. Small businesses in rural Texas will have access to Decent’s “virtual health plan,” the first of its kind in the U.S., which offers members a dedicated U.S.-based primary care physician anytime and anywhere via

This Startup Raised $37 Million To Make Going To The Dentist Fun

Afraid of going to the dentist? Does the thought of getting a root canal fill your heart with dread? If so, you’re not alone. Even though the American Dental Association recommends that some people visit the dentist multiple times a year, only half of adults in the U.S. do. One of the main reasons cited for this failure? Fear. 

Tend, a new dentistry startup hoping to inject life into an old-fashioned industry, aims to reduce that fear. On October 1st, the company announced that it raised a $37 million Series B round that will help it make going to the dentist a positive, maybe even fun, experience. 

“[Dentistry] is just outdated and a bit broken, and I think we’ve all lived it,” says John Lyman, a partner at GV. “[Tend] has a different approach.” GV led the round alongside investors Tiger Global and Good Friends, which brings Tend’s total funding to $73 million. 

Like One Medical did for primary care and Warby Parker did for vision, Tend is focused on creating direct-to-consumer dentistry with an air of hospitality it says makes it stand apart from regular dentists’ offices (both One Medical and Warby Parker have invested in Tend). Despite the fact that it’s almost a $140 billion dollar market, the dentistry industry has seen “very little innovation,” says Tend CEO and cofounder Doug Hudson. “I was just blown away that no one had created a consumer brand for dentistry.” 

While there are other dentistry startups, most are focused on oral hygiene products (for example, quip’s electric toothbrush) or corporate clients (like mobile dentistry Henry). Tend is one of the only companies actually reimagining in-office dental care. When you make an appointment at Tend, Hudson says, the company not only asks for your insurance information but also what Netflix shows you want to watch during your visit, what flavor of toothpaste you want your dentist to use, and even what aromatherapy scent you would like pumped into the room. The drills that the dentists use are quieter to reduce anxiety, and the company even reformulated its gum anesthetic to make it taste better. Hudson, who was the former CEO of teledentistry company SmileDirectClub, says he wanted to eliminate the negative feelings associated with going to the dentist, and play up the positive feelings. “I’ve always been drawn to categories that are kind of stodgy and stale and reinventing it with the patient in mind.”

Tend was cofounded by Hudson along with Andy Grover and Michael Stenclick in October 2019. Since then, the company has opened five dental offices (they call them “studios”) in New York City, two of which just opened over the summer. All of the offices were forced to close in March at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, when preventive dental services weren’t considered essential. Two months later the company was able to reopen and now takes in-person and virtual appointments. “Dentistry is a vital service, it was then and it is